About the pest

Invasive ‘tramp’ ants are a diverse group of aggressive, invasive ant species that can rapidly establish and spread if introduced. Several species of tramp ants are amongst the most serious global invasive pests.

Australia’s environmental, economic, and social wellbeing are threatened by these ants, some of which have already been introduced and established in Australia.

Tramp ants can reduce species diversity and modify habitat structure, and have the potential to severely impact human health and social amenity.

  • Several species of tramp ants have painful stings which can cause anaphylactic shock in some people.
  • Pets, livestock, and native animals may also be severely affected by bites and stings.
  • Ants may eat plants and chew through electrical insulation, and their nest building can damage machinery and buildings.

Tramp ant infestations may also impact on agriculture and forestry. Some species farm sap-sucking scale insects for honeydew. This can lead to larger infestations of pests on host plants, resulting in their death. This also increases the risk of disease being transmitted to plants through these insect vectors.

More information

Tramp ants (Department of Agriculture)

Exotic invasive ants (Plant health Australia)

Fire ants (Plant Health Australia)